Roving your ‘Land’ silently
"Plug-in hybrid adds convolution but doesn’t change the personality of the Range Rover."
"To the eyes it is hard to detect too many changes on the 2018 Range Rover."
"It’s clear that the 400e is just as skillful as every other Range Rover model."
"It possesses a charm of its own and its wide range of capabilities is hard to match," said Issam.
We are all pretty sure and agree that the Range Rover is the most classic SUV machine of luxury SUVs. Right? Other rivals are surely there and are competing quite fiercely. But I still feel that no other SUV gives the blend of super luxury, super off-road capability and super performance. Everything about the Range Rover is special. If you spell the name "Range Rover" it sounds pretty different. Created in 1970, the Range Rover has been re-created four times. We all know there have been many model facelifts, new engine derivatives, design and styling tweaks, but the archetypal distinguishable Range Rover silhouette has remained stable throughout the years.
This model (which we’ve all gotten used to) was launched back in 2012. How can I forget the amazing first drive from Essaouira to Marrakesh in magical Morocco! As I am writing now, the world is evolving pretty quickly. The top-notch stories nowadays are concerning hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and the latest trend of autonomous vehicles-which I still cannot accept in the back of my mind. When it comes to preserving the environment, technology and green motoring, Land Rover has to do something to keep up the pace in this speedy world. Here we are in the UK for the first drive of the Range Rover 400e PHEV, the new silent luxury edition.
What’s new on the 2018 model?
The exterior design has evolved, while heightened comfort and new consumer technologies have been added to the cabin.
Comfort-enhancing functions transform the travelling experience for the driver and passengers. The front seats feature 24-way movement thanks to the new seat frames, with wider and deeper foams as well as heated armrests. In the rear, a completely redesigned cabin and seating layout create a tranquil sanctuary with no compromise to rear load space.
If you’re working while being driven, up to 17 connection points including domestic plug sockets, USB, HDMI and 12-volt are all available; 4G Wi-Fi hotspots for up to eight devices and convenient storage are all designed for the business traveler. The cabin is tailored for relaxation with luxurious seats offering 25 massage programs thanks to Hot Stone massage technology within the seat backs.
Wider, softer seats offer sumptuous comfort. Reclining by up to 40 degrees, they make the most of the additional 186mm legroom (now 1,206mm in total) and can be deployed at the touch of a button. The exemplary comfort extends to heated and cooled seats, plus heated arm, foot and calf rests. For additional convenience and personalization, all seat functionality can be controlled via a smartphone app, whether inside or outside the vehicle.
The elegance of the interior has been elevated by the seamless integration of the most advanced infotainment system yet created by Jaguar Land Rover. Touch Pro Duo, codenamed ‘Blade’, combines two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens on the center console working in perfect harmony. Information can be swiped from one screen to the other, making the layout highly intuitive and engaging to operate, with unrivalled functionality.
The new Range Rover has been enhanced with further technologies for greater comfort and convenience:
- Gesture sunblind: Opened and closed by an advanced gesture control system that senses an occupant’s hand movement. All it takes to open the blind is a rearward swipe in front of the rearview mirror, and forwards to close.
- Air Cabin Ionization: Uses nano-sized charged water particles to cleanse and purify the air for enhanced passenger wellbeing.
- Pixel-laser LED headlights: Advanced technology is brighter and yet intelligently blanks sections of LEDs to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers.
- Activity key: customers can securely lock and unlock their vehicle without the need to carry a conventional key fob.
The Range Rover P400e emits only 64g/km on the NEDC combined cycle and provides an all-electric range of up to 51 kilometers without the Ingenium petrol engine running. For the first time, customers choosing Land Rover’s flagship SUV can experience zero-emission driving.
The new PHEV model can choose from two driving modes:
1. Parallel Hybrid mode (the default driving mode): Combines petrol and electric drive. The driver can optimize battery charge or fuel economy by utilizing one of two charge management functions:
-SAVE function-prevents the battery charge dropping below a pre-selected level.
-Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO) function-entering a destination in the navigation system enables the feature, which utilizes built-in GPS altitude data for the selected route, to intelligently combine the electric motor and petrol engine to maximize fuel economy.
2. EV (Electric Vehicle) mode-enables the vehicle to run solely on the electric motor using the energy stored in the battery, the ideal solution for quiet, zero-emission journeys.
When using rapid charging the 13.1kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery, a full charge can be achieved in as little as 2 hours 45 minutes at home by using a dedicated 32 amp wall box. The battery can be fully charged in 7 hours 30 minutes using the 10-amp home charging cable supplied as standard. The Range Rover’s battery is covered by an eight-year, 160,000-km, and 70 percent state of health warranty.
The Range Rover 2.0-liter Ingenium petrol engine is longitudinally mounted, with the 85kW electric motor housed in the ZF automatic eight-speed transmission at the center of the vehicle alongside the 7kW onboard charger. The access point for the cable is at the front of the vehicle, while the prismatic cell lithium-ion battery is mounted at the rear beneath the boot floor.
After one full day of driving the message is pretty clear that Land Rover wants to show us that the 400e is just as skilled as every other Range Rover model, therefore the water hazard, muddy hill-climb, and a trek. Everything you would expect from a Range Rover is here, nothing has changed, honestly speaking, except some exterior styling and interior tweaks. From Terrain Response traction settings to the air suspension, to the leather seats that pamper you like wealthy nobility you aspire to be made our journey a memorable one.
Revitalized from the exterior and interior but the main change is the plug-in hybrid and four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Although it feels quieter, it retained the overall character of Land Rover’s flagship. I don’t think it will be available anytime soon in our Middle East region. The P400e will surely be available in both standard and long wheelbase body styles.
Pros: Instant torque, 30 miles of silent motoring, super off-road ability, super on-road comfort
Cons: Expensive price tag, weight addition, no V8 soundtrack
Rivals: Bentley Bentayga
one word: Silent treat
4 / 5 stars
P400e 2.0L i4 Petrol PHEV
2.0L turbocharged, inline-4-cylinder, 404 hp, 640 Nm
Petrol Engine: 300 hp with a 116 hp (85kW) electric motor
4WD, ZF 8-speed automatic
0-100 km/h: 6.8 secs (SWB) / 6.9 secs (LWB), top speed: 220 km/h, fuel consumption: 2.32 L/100 km
Weight: 2509 kg (SWB) / 2603 kg (LWB)